Sorry, just my reaction to Sorrentino and Lemire’s departure from Green Arrow!!!!
Green Arrow #34
w. Jeff Lemire
a. Andrea Sorrentino
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because it’s time to bid a fond farewell to one of the best creative teams to ever work on Green Arrow, as Lemire & Sorrentino’s run comes to a conclusion. Not only was this a spectacular Green Arrow story arc, I would go as far as to say this run was a hallmark example of the New 52 initiative, taking an established character and his/her world, and giving it a fresh coat of paint; updating the character and their supporting cast for the 21st century, while keeping true to the character’s personality and history; keeping it somewhat in tact, but not hokey.
The Outsiders, John Butcher, Richard Dragon, Katana, Count Verigo, Diggle, Killer Moth, Dart and the Clock King have all made appearances, and have all been weaved into Green Arrow’s life effortlessly by Lemire, and presented to us in a modern, edgy style by the magnificient art of Sorrentino.
After last issue’s revelation of the connection between Diggle and the new Richard Dragon (actually Ricky Diaz, a small time hood, who trained with and then killed Richard Dragon) spells doom for Arrow’s right hand man. Well maybe not doom,but there’s definitely some defenestration (look it up!) going on!
Now you’ll see why G.A. still carries those “silly” trick arrows. While G.A. is saving his partner, his tech-squad back-up team is in dire straits. Henry has been gut shot by the traitorous Clock King, and Naomi is next in the line of fire. Luckily, Oliver’s little sister Emiko (G.A. has a sister???? Told that you should be reading this book!) shows up to save the day! But can she handle the psychotic Killer Moth as well? (okay that sounds like a silly question huh?)
With the fate of his city hanging in the balance, Green Arrow and Diggle confront the new Dragon and his henchmen, in two double page spreads choreographed ( it’s really the only word to use ) by Sorrentino, in what is not only an epic fight scene, but the pinnacle of sequential superhero-action storytelling. The man is an artistic genius, and his style will be sorely missed on this title, but whatever he works on next will be sure to be elevated in status throughout the comic medium, solely due to his talent.
Lemire wraps up his run, leaving plenty of shovels and buckets in the Green Arrow sand box for others to play with. The story ends as all great hero stories do, with the hero riding off into the sunset, well actually, standing on a building, arrow drawn with his he new partner at his side, but there is a sunset, so you know what I mean. Green Arrow is back home, with a new purpose, a new partner and a new lease on life!The perfect set up for a new creative team.
I beg, I plead, I implore you. Get the back issues, buy the trades, download it… have someone read it to you and describe the pictures, whatever it takes. You have to read these arcs. You want to… you are feeling compelled to… when I snap my fingers…
SUPER-DOOM TRIPLE THREAT!!!!!
Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1
w. Charles Soule
a. Benes, Daniel, Alixe, Richards, & Herbert
Action Comics Annual #3
w. Greg Pak
a. Lashley, Kuder, Herbert, Richards, Gopez, Conrad, & Alixe
Action Comics #34
w. Greg Pak
a. Aaron Kuder
The Gist: Two writers! Nine artists! Three books! But there is only one… Super Doom.
In Superman/Wonder Woman, The Man of Steel’s self-imposed exile in space is interrupted by the Cyborg Superman, currently in Martian Orbit serving his new master….. Brainiac. After a short battle with the Doomsday infected Superman, The Cyborg reveals Brainiac’s invasion plans for Earth, forcing Superman to return to Earth.
Too bad the planet’s atmosphere has been laced with kryptonite, not only dangerous to Superman’s health, the radioactive element will suppress his kryptonian genetics, allowing the Doomsday infection to take control. Only Superman can stop Brainiac’s mad plan, but the only thing more dangerous to humanity than Brainiac is a Doomsday infected Superman! Can Wonder Woman stop her lover from becoming a mindless rampaging monster, while Batman does what Batman does and comes up with a plan.. but he’s gonna need a little help……
Then in the Action Annual, Lois Lane, now a pawn of Brainiac directs the invasion of Brainiac’s Daughter-ships, sent ahead to prepare Earth for Brainiacs arrival… by putting all off humanity into comas (he did a test run in Smallville a few issues back!) As heroes fall around the globe, Batman assembles his very own “Superman Revenge Squad” in the Fortress of Solitude, a group of villain geniuses and tacticians to solve the Doomsday problem. Can Lex Luthor, Harrow, Ghost Soldier and Dr. Shay Veritas (okay, one ally!) help the Dark Knight figure out to remove five-hundred trillion microscopic, hyperkinetic Kryptonite particles from Earth’s atmosphere to prevent Superman from fully Doomsday-ing out! Maybe with a little help from Dr. Xa-Du, the Phantom King… first Prisoner of the Phantom Zone and one of Superman’s most dangerous villains!!! And what the hell is the Cyborg Superman up to on Mars.
Side Note: In a cool example of good comic book writing, art and editorship, these annuals run concurrently for the first half of each book, and then have a mid-book same-scene crossover (centering on Batman and Wonder Woman’s plan), that plays out nicely as the stories progress towards the end of both books. Well done to all involved.
Action Comics #34 shows us the completion of the trans-warp portal built-in orbit around Mars by the Cyborg Superman has allowed Braniac’s Mothership to enter our solar system and attempt to absorb Earth ( the Mother Ship is at least like 3 Earths big! ) into the mad Coluan’s Collection. With his Doomsday infection in temporary remission, Superman comes up with an insane plan to free Earth of Brainiac’s control.
But if Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman can think of it, so can the Twelfth Level intelligence of Brainiac can as well, and even after being betrayed By Lois Lane and Metallo, it still looks like Braniac has the upper hand, especially when the heroes plan accidentally releases a few Phantom Zone criminals!! Looks like a potential Super-Doom is the lesser of two evils!!!!!
w. Mark Waid & Kieron Gillen
a. Luke Ross
1 out of 5 Space Monkeys (and that 1 is for Luke Ross!!!)
Status-effing-Quo that’s why!
Two words all comic fans fear when reading a massive ” this changes everything ” crossover.
I did have a lot of faith in this book.
I frakking love the main mini-series of Original Sin and all the cool stuff Aaron and Deodato are doing to both Marvel’s past and future. O.S. The Tenth Realm has impressed the hell out of me, making me interested in Angela for a change, and effortlessly blending in a tenth realm to the Marvel U, and the insane fall-out of O.S. in Hickman’s Avengers time travel arc has led to some cool storytelling time jump arcs in that book.
This book had all the earmarks of a great O.S. event. Caught in the psionic ripple of the Watcher’s Eye explosion (see Original Sin #1) the Hulk has seen a vision from the past, a vision that reveals a young and drunken Tony Stark meddling with Banner’s gamma bomb, the very bomb that made him the Incredible Hulk! The Hulk, enraged, goes to confront Iron Man but not before Banner tweaks the Extremis virus in his own system (Iron Man injected him with a variation to control his Hulk changes) allowing him to keep his intelligence while Hulked out. Is Iron Man responsible for Bruce becoming the Hulk??
I guess I should say Spoiler Alert, but is it really a spoiler if absolutely nothing changed!
If you rather waste your money and disappoint yourself, don’t read any further.
You see Iron Man did mess with the bomb, but guess what? The bomb was too powerful before he tinkered with the shielding, and had it gone off as-is it would have not only killed Bruce outright, it would have killed the observers, people on the base nearby and anything living in a massive radius around the bomb.
Not too bad a cop-out right?
Wait there is more!
When Bruce tells Tony he should have left him to die, and the world wouldn’t be cursed with a Hulk, Tony reminds him that he did send him an email (Thank god for Marvel’s sliding timeline, huh???) telling him what he did, and Bruce never read it!
Gone is the chance to change the dynamic between Iron Man and The Hulk (and Tony and Bruce, who were becoming friendlier) or a possible lead in to the Superior Iron Man series coming out soon. At least a set up for big climatic World War Hulk like battle, right?
So what I’ve learned from this book is:
1. Bruce Banner is responsible for turning himself into the Hulk (which was established, I dunno, in 1962)
2. There are absolutely no negative ramifications from working on a Gamma Bomb while three sheets to the wind drunk.
Waid. Gillen. I expect more.
Superior Spiderman #32
w. Dan Slott & Christos Gage
a. Guiseppe Camuncoli & Adam Kubert
Okay so I gave up pretty early on Superior Spiderman (disliked the lack of balls apparent by having the”Parker Ghost” hanging around… just in case!), but I am a sucker for Alternate Realities, and Spidey does have some really cool alternates, so I grabbed this just to check it out it. Hell, Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions is one of the few video games I played in my adult life, and this Spider-verse thing seems like a hoot. So Why not?
Apparently, back in Superior Spiderman #19, there was a temporal implosion at Horizon Labs, involving some shenanigans with Spiderman 2099; resulting in him being stuck in our time. During this chaos, Superior Spiderman (Doc Ock in Parker’s Body) got lost for a day in the time-stream.
This story tells us about his adventures during that lost time.
Transported to the year 2099 (because nature abhors a vacuum), Spidey finds himself hunted by the Public Eye and on the run…until a timely rescue by Gabe O’Hara, Spidey 2099’s little brother.
After setting up shop in O’Hara’s place (and quickly adapting to the tech of the future!), Spidey proceeds to gather the necessary elements to build a time machine to return home. And by borrow I mean steal, from places like Alchemax and Stark-Fujikawa. Not a good Idea in 2099!
But the Superior Spiderman succeeds, and attempts to return home, but is repeatedly shunted to different “what if?” dimensions (House of M, Fantastic 5, Civil War, etc.), all with one common element… a murdered Peter Parker Spiderman.
Even more strange, evidence points to a singular killer; a fatal double puncture wound and a body suffused with exotic energy the M.O. of the Spider Killer.
So it falls to the Superior Spiderman to assemble a team of alternate Spideys (including Spiderman Noir, Spider Girl, Six-Armed Spidey, a murdeours vigilante Spidey, Peter Prabhakar the Indian Spiderman,and what seems to be a small spiderman with a tail???) To travel the varied dimensions of the Marvel Multiverse and hunt down this cosmic serial killer, and find out why Spiderman his the subject of his murderous rampage. Nice start to a cool idea, that even if it’s a semi-lame story, the art reflecting the multitude of Spiderman alternate designs should be enough to keep us entertained in at least an eye-pleasing- child- like-sugar-high-manner!
Spiderverse begins here!
Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers
w. Joe Casey
a. Nathan Fox & Jim Rugg
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because as I have explained in previous TLWs, due to the indoctrination by my comic mentor Bart Hagan, I worship all things Kirby with a zealotry bordering on the obscene. And due to chance meeting at a rained out comic convention, as well as similar interests in comic characters and story works (and a shared hatred of a certain creator) I love anything Joe Casey does. So this seemed like a natural fit.
Coming off his psycho-sexual breakdown of archetype characters like Batman and Iron Man in SEX, as well as the drug-laced Spiderman/Speedball take on youthful superheroic tropes found in Bounce, I was thrilled to see his name attached this project.
You see, Captain Victory holds a special place in the Kirby-Verse of characters. Jack’s creativity and imagination. was just too big for one comic company to contain. The King created (and by create, I mean adapt heavily with science fiction concepts thrown in to fit the burgeoning world of superhero comics) the Mighty Thor for Marvel Comics. Based heavily on Norse mythology, Kirby gave us the gleaming spires of Asgard, Odin, Thor, Loki and all the other various Gods of the Nine Realms.
Then Kirby left Marvel for D.C., where he created The Fourth World, consisting of titles like Mr. Miracle, Forever People and The New Gods.
Well Who were the Old Gods then??
You got it… Asgardians. The massive energy release of the Deaths of the Old Gods during Ragnarok, led to the creation of the New Gods. New Genesis. Apokolips. Orion. Darkseid. All brought forth from this cosmic universal destruction and re-birth.
So what does all this have to do with Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, you ask???
Well, in the final issues of his original run on Captain Victory & the Galactic Rangers for Pacific comics; Kirby, without outright saying it, heavily alluded to Captain Victory being the son of Orion, of the New Gods. Victory’s grandfather, the villainous BlackMaas was only ever seen in shadow, a silhouette that greatly resembles Darkseid’s.
Casey has taken up the reigns now, and with some help from the talented Nathan Fox (who manages to capture the Kirby vibe and quirkiness, without just swiping)
has remained the title for the next generation of fans. Without wiping out and ‘re-booting everything, Casey and Fox wisely thrust us into the middle of the action, letting the well written story and characters tell the story through Fox’s action packed art. The Mekkanos have hunted Captain Victory across the galaxies, attacking his ship the Dreadnought Tiger, severely damaging the vessel…. and killing Captain Victory in the process. All will be well, though. It’s not the first time he died, nor will it be the last.
So much training and time and resources go into a Dreadnought captain’s career as a soldier that each ship is equipped with cloning banks filled with replacement bodies for its captain. In the event of death in battle (which is quite common onboard a Dreadnought class ship), the Captain’s mind is transferred to the next available body, so he can rise again, rally his troops and win the battle.
But the damage to the Tiger was so catastrophic, it was forced to eject the next two replacement bodies….while in the middle of a mind transfer!!!
Now, with their Captain lost, in both space and time, it’s up to the remaining Ranger crew to find him, and finish the transfer or face losing the only tactical advantage they have over the Mekannos Armada!!!
Casey once again proves no concept is beyond his reach, and if your into good old sci-fi comic book action this is the book for you!
Harbinger: Omegas #1
w. Joshua Dysart
a. Rafa Sandoval
The Gist: The Harbinger Foundation exposed! Harada wanted by the World’s Governments for his crimes! The Renegades torn asunder! Pete Stanchek presumed dead! What could possibly happen next?!
War! That’s what!
Tired of hiding his powers, and fed up with mankind’s handling of the earth, its resources and humanity and general, Harada, instead of surrendering to the U.N. publicly like he said he would, declares war… on everyone!
And who is the hooded “ghost” , hanging out in abandoned buildings and mind-wiping pharmacists for their drug supplies? Looks like someone’s death was greatly exaggerated!!!!
The next wave of Harbinger crashes into shores here! Brace yourself the world just isn’t big enough for two Omega Level Harbingers!!!
Last Week’s Surprise Pick:
( that’s American Sign Language for Hawkeye)
Hawkeye # 19
w. Matt Fraction
a. David Aka
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because honestly, I almost gave up on this book. I mean Hawkeye is my all time favorite character (you can check out my instagram account dyrewolf1218 to see what I’m talking about!) and Fraction has been up there on my list of favorite writers for a while, but after diverging storylines, fill-in issues (story content and art), it seemed like he was just too “busy” for our battling bowman.
Then I read this issue, and all the reasons why I was glad Fraction and Aja were on this series in the beginning, came flying at me like a quiver of trick arrows.
When we last saw Clint Barton, apparently shot in the head, and his brother killed by an assassin hired by the unspecified eastern european gang that was extorting the tenants of Hawkeye’s building in Brooklyn. Now we find out Barney survived, but is wheelchair bound, and Clint… well Clint was deafened by the shot fired next to his head.
This is not the first time Hawkeye has suffered trauma to his hearing, but this time the hearing loss is much more profound and may be permanent.
Now, not only physically beaten, Hawkeye is mentally defeated, by the death of a tenant he failed to protect, his brothers injury and his own deafness taking their toll. It’s up to his big brother Barney to knock some sense into him, like he had to a few times before.
He might be beaten, he might be broken, he might be deaf, but he’s effing Hawkeye… and Hawkeye always has friends!! Watch as Clint rallies all those near and dear to him for one lat showdown, the fate of his building, the families that live their, and his very life all hang on the line.
But that’s not all that makes this book cool. A majority of the conversations Hawkeye has with his brother are drawn in American Sign Language, something the two learned as children. And, get this! According to my soon to be brother-in-law Tommy, who comes from a predominantly deaf family, and can Sign fluently, the alphabet used was correct, and despite a few inaccuracies, the Signing images used were correct as well, the problem being Signing is kinetic and comics are static in motion. So, in other words, you have to use your noodle to figure out whats going on. Or as David Aja himself put it:
Nice Job Matt And David, for some compelling storytelling, and making us all aware of the difficulties of hearing loss a deaf person experiences on a daily basis, including the inability to communicate and the frustration and depression that comes with it.
Looks like we’ll have a repeat of last years Best Single Issue award!